Listen Hear: The right to be heard | Department For International Development | Poverty

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People living in poverty face many barriers when it comes to taking part in decision making. Not enough money. Not enough information. Not enough confidence. The list goes on. But that's not the main problem. The main problem is that too often people experiencing poverty don't feel respected. Too often they aren't respected. And what is the ultimate disrespect? Being involved in phoney participation, by people who don't listen, when things don't change. Phoney because it doesn't lead to a shift in power. No wonder many people experiencing poverty adopt the defence of cynicism, or anger. No wonder that increasingly they don't vote - and don't participate in other ways either. But we all lose out when people living in poverty don't participate. Participation will only work if it reaches out to everyone. It must involve a change in attitudes and behaviour by politicians and professionals. It must make a difference. And unless that happens,policies to tackle poverty and revitalise democracy will not succeed.
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  The right to be heard Report of the Commission on Poverty, Participation and Power Listen hear  First published in Great Britain in 2000 by The Policy PressThe Policy PressUniversity of Bristol34 Tyndall’s Park RoadBristol BS8 1PYUKTel no +44 (0)117 954 6800Fax no +44 (0)117 973 7308E-mail tpp@bristol.ac.ukwww.policypress.org.ukISBN 1 86134 303 5 © The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has supported this project as part of its programme of research and innovative development projects,which it hopes will be of value to policy makers, practitioners and service users. The facts presented and views expressed in this report,however, are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.The views expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the views of the UK Coalition against Poverty or any of its member organisations.The statements and opinions contained within this publication are solely those of the authors and contributors and not of The Universityof Bristol or The Policy Press. The University of Bristol and The Policy Press disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or propertyresulting from any material published in this publication.The Policy Press works to counter discrimination on grounds of gender, race, disability, age and sexuality.All rights reserved: no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Publishers.Design by Qube Design Associates, BristolFront cover image: kindly supplied by North NewsPrinted in Great Britain by Hobbs the Printers Ltd, SouthamptonFurther copies of this report can be ordered from Marston Book Services, PO Box 269, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4YN - at a cost of £10.99 per copy.A separate summary of this report, and a bibliography of publications used in compiling it, are available free of charge from: UK Coalition against Poverty17 Grove LaneLondon SE5 8RD The Policy Press and the UK Coalition Against Poverty 2000 Reprinted 2002  Contents AcknowledgementsivThe Commission vForeword: Key questions viiPart One What’s it all about? 11 Why link poverty, participation and power? 22 What does the Commission think? 63 Participation: what’s going on? 8Part Two Barriers to participation 134 Stalemate? Local and national level 145 Phoney participation – the biggest problem 186  Voices for all, voices for change 207 Aprofessional approach to participation? 258 Message not received 289 It takes time 3010 Personal and practical barriers 3211 The work ethic? 36Part Three Real participation 3912 Participation can work 4013 Real participation – how to make it work 4314 Recommendations 4615 Conclusion 49Appendices 1  Voices for Change and the Commission 542 Examples of relevant recent policy initiatives 61  Acknowledgements The Commission would like to thank its major funder, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, as well asthose member organisations of the UK Coalition Against Poverty which have provided help in cashand/or in kind. In particular, Save the Children aided the gathering of grassroots evidence and consultations with young people; Oxfam GB provided vital staff time and significant assistance withcommunity participation costs; and Church Action on Poverty offered staff time and local supportaround the UK.The work of Voices for Change, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and others, was thestarting point and inspiration for the Commission’s work, and we are grateful to everyone involved for their energy and commitment. The contribution of Mary Carter and Heather Petch, as policy advisors/writers, to the Commission and especially the production of this report was also invaluable. Many thanks to them all. TheUK Coalition against Poverty believes that poverty must be eradicated. Its key aims are to improveanti-poverty policies by linking policy makers with people who have direct experience of poverty, andto campaign for more systematic and holistic anti-poverty strategies and policies.Please contact: UKCAP, 17 Grove Lane, London SE5 8RDInternet: For up-to-date contact details for UKCAP, and to read the summary of Listen hear ,please check the following website: www.church-poverty.org.uk iv
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